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Henry Robert Pasley Carter

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Henry Robert Pasley Carter (c1834-1901)

1901 Obituary [1]

HENRY ROBERT PASLEY CARTER, whose death took place at Chiswick, near London, on the 28th May, 1901, at the age of 67, was descended from an Irish family, and was articled to Mr. Charles Tarrant, an engineer in Kilkenny.

In 1851, when 18 years of age, he held the post of Clerk of Works during the erection of Urlingford Workhouse in that county, after which he served as Assistant Engineer on the Bagenalstown and Wexford Railway under Mr. W. R. Le Fanu, and was subsequently employed on railway projects and public buildings in various parts of Ireland.

In October, 1858, Mr. Carter proceeded to India, having been appointed to the engineering staff of the Madras Railway, and was placed in charge of the construction of that portion of the Bangalore Branch which traverses the Saidanhr Pass. There the difficult nature of the alignment involved very heavy banks, rock cuttings and masonry works, but owing to his energy, judgment and ability these were successfully carried out by Mr. Carter with great economy, and with an expedition which enabled a large saving in time and money to be effected in the sections beyond.

He subsequently held charge of a division of open line, and by his vigilant control and unremitting attention to details he secured a high standard of maintenance at moderate cost, for which he was rewarded with rapid promotion.

In 1874 he rendered conspicuous service by the ingenuity and energy he displayed in the prompt restoration of traffic across the Gudiyatam River, where the bridge had been damaged by abnormal floods, and for this he received the approbation of Government.

After having been selected in 1875 for the post of Deputy Chief Engineer, he was, in 1689, appointed Chief Engineer, which office he retained until his retirement in 1894. During his long service of thirty-six years he returned to England on furlough and sick leave for an aggregate period of two years and a half only - an exceptionally brief proportion for absence from duty.

On the Madras Railway the works he constructed remain as a substantial monument of his engineering skill, and his name is cherished by his colleagues, and still more by the staff of engineers who served under him; for, although a stern advocate of discipline, his kindliness and consideration for their interests will be long and gratefully remembered.

Mr. Carter was a keen and active sportsman, and an authority on all descriptions of sporting weapons - a subject which he closely studied for many years. He was, moreover, an excellent shot at both large and small game, and many a panther, bear and ibex have fallen to his rifle in the Coimbatore district. He was a keen naturalist, especially in the field of ornithology, and regularly contributed the results of his experience to the columns of "The Asian" and "The Field" under the well-known nom de plume of "Smoothbore." Lastly, he was a great lover of books, and was intimately acquainted with English literature.

Mr. Carter was a man of gifted qualifications, refinement and culture; but the prominent feature in his character was to be found in his vigorous personality, which infused itself in all his dealings with his fellow-men. Essentially right-minded, methodical to a degree, of strong and healthy instincts, he was clear, practical and decisive; conspicuously just, but unobtrusively kind, and of great quickness of perception. In private life he was simple, unaffected and unostentatious, and except to his family and intimate friends, perhaps somewhat reserved; he was punctual and exact in all his engagements, and required others to be the same; resolute in his adherence to his convictions, he yet held liberal views on all questions of social interest.

Mr. Carter was elected a Member of the Institution on the 13th January, 1880, and in 1896 his name was enrolled on the books as an honorary life subscriber.

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